Collaborative wideband sensing for cognitive radios: An overview of challenges and solutions

Zhi Quan, Shuguang Cui, H. Vincent Poor, Ali H. Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

310 Scopus citations


Cognitive radio (CR) has recently emerged as a promising technology to revolutionize spectrum utilization in wireless communications. In a CR network, secondary users continuously sense the spectral environment and adapt transmission parameters to opportunistically use the available spectrum. A fundamental problem for CRs is spectrum sensing; secondary users need to reliably detect weak primary signals of possibly different types over a targeted wide frequency band in order to identify spectral holes for opportunistic communications. Conceptually and practically, there is growing awareness that collaboration among several CRs can achieve considerable performance gains. This article provides an overview of the challenges and possible solutions for the design of collaborative wideband sensing in CR networks. It is argued that collaborative spectrum sensing can make use of signal processing gains at the physical layer to mitigate strict requirements on the radio frequency front-end and to exploit spatial diversity through network cooperation to significantly improve sensing reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Broadband networks
  • Chromium
  • Cognitive radio
  • Cognitive radio network
  • Collaboration
  • Collaborative wideband sensing reliability
  • Detectors
  • Diversity reception
  • Frequency allocation
  • Primary signal detection
  • Sensors
  • Signal detection
  • Signal to noise ratio
  • Spatial diversity
  • Spectrum allocation
  • Telecommunication network reliability
  • Transmission parameter adaptability
  • Wide frequency band
  • Wideband
  • Wireless communication
  • Wireless sensor networks


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